TAMPA, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's basketball team dropped their Saturday Sunshine State Conference match at the University of the Tampa Spartans, 69-63, at the Bob Martinez Athletic Center.
The Lions controlled most of the game, forcing Tampa into 13 turnovers, and scoring 16 points off those opportunities. However, down the stretch, Tampa's experience them back into the game as the handled the ball better over the final quarter and overtime. Tampa also outrebounded the Lions, 38-26, and they scored 11 points off those rebounds.
Final Score: Saint Leo falls in overtime to Tampa, 69-63. Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla. Records: Saint Leo 5-8, 0-6 SSC | Tampa 10-3, 5-1 SSC
How It Happened
1Q | Saint Leo jumped on the Spartans early, climbing to a 10-2 lead behind five early points from Nikira Hooks who made her presence felt after coming off the bench. However, the Spartans closed the half on a 7-2 run. The Lions shot 45.5-percent in the quarter but were unable to find the bottom of the net in the final 2:05 of the period. | Saint Leo 12-9
2Q | Saint Leo's high-pressure defense gave them a quick 5-0 run to open the second. Following those first five points, the Lions were unable to score for a three-minute span before Izabell Skoogh broke the streak with her second three of the game. Once the Lions got back on track, they managed to keep the Spartans at bay with their defense, forcing eight turnovers in the half. Saint Leo hit all of their four three-point attempts. | Saint Leo 30-24
3Q | In the third, both teams scored 15 points. The Lions did so behind 46.2-percent shooting while hitting three of four three-point attempts. Chelsy Springs became the first Lions in double figures as she added six points in the quarter. The Lions defense continued to hold the Spartans as they shot just 38.5-percent in the third. | Saint Leo 45-39
4Q | The home team opened the fourth on a 6-1 run and brought the game to a 46-45 with the Lions clinging to the lead. Nikira Hooks ended the run with a driving layup. Both teams traded free throws as they got into the bonus before the five-minute mark. A Tampa jumper tied the game at 57 with 40.0 seconds to play. On the ensuing Saint Leo possession, the Lions missed their jumper and Tampa was able to grab the rebound. With 18.2-seconsd on the clock, the Spartans called a timeout. However, the Lions defense was able to keep them from scoring. | 57-57
OT | The Spartans were the first to score in overtime, hitting two free throws at the 3:48 mark. This marked the Spartans first lead of the game. The following play Springs was able to get to her low-post and make one of her signature moves to tie the game back up at 59. On the ensuing possession, Ragen Dotson made a timely block with four seconds on the shot clock, but Elena de Alfredo of Tampa, made the basket on the following out-of-bounds play to bring it to 61-59, Tampa. The Spartans expanded the game to six points with 43.0-seconds left to play. Dotson's layup brought it within four at 35.4 on the clock. Both teams continued to go back and forth as the Lions need to foul to stop the clock. Unfortunately, time expired before the Lions could regain control. | Tampa 69-63
As a team, Saint Leo shot 50-percent from long range, hitting 10 of 20 three's. Both Dotson and Izabell Skoogh hit three apiece.
This is the third-straight game the Lions led for a majority of the minutes in the game. Against the Spartans, they led for 38:06, and the Spartans did not take their first lead until the 3:48 mark in overtime.
"We certainly played hard for 40 minutes tonight, and that was our goal, but unfortunately we needed to play hard for 45 minutes, and we just didn't get it done. These kids give me everything they got every day in games, practice, and film, and I'm very proud of the women they're becoming."
"Hats off to Tampa. They did what they had to do, but I feel like we gave them everything they can handle. We can't be outshot at the foul line by 30 and expect to win close games. Nikira Hooks last foul was very interesting and that changed the game. But again our shot selection and turnover ratio in the last minute must be better."
"Chelsy Springs continues to be one of the better players in the conference but she has to do more for us to get to the next level and there are plenty of levels for us to get to."
Up Next Saint Leo heads to Lynn University on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m.
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